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Goethe and Popenoe's twentieth-century eugenics, 1903-1965: "a singular worldview and multifaceted action plans"
Eugenics is a term sometimes casually thrown around in everyday discussions. It even appears in various forms of popular media such as television shows, movies, cartoons, novels, and even Japanese anime. Eugenics did not simply appear in human history as a coincidence. Its history is surprisingly engrained in the history of California itself. This master’s thesis has compiled a condensed history of eugenics to provide readers a solid understanding of the term. It then introduces readers to two significant historical figures as part of society’s amnesia about the existence and history of a eugenics movement: Charles Matthias Goethe and Paul Popenoe. This thesis utilizes various historical sources and artifacts of these two men to bring to life their actions within the twentieth-century eugenics movement. Goethe and Popenoe shared a singular worldview or they both wanted to use eugenics to solve the problems of twentieth-century society, such as: immigration; low IQ values; the population of low humans; opponents of eugenics; conflicted eugenicists of Catholic faith; eugenics organizations not agreeing; and a lack of sharing eugenics scholarship. However, Goethe and Popenoe had different ways of accomplishing their goals through the areas of: eugenics rhetoric; a California sterilization program; an intrinsic value of faith; analogizing low humans; collaboration among eugenics organizations; proliferating eugenics literature; and a global eugenics network.
Thesis (M.A., History)--California State University, Sacramento, 2018.